Jeannie Balsam – Principal
Jeannie believes that her clients deserve highly functional interiors that are beautiful, classic, and inviting. Her unique ability to uncover and define her client’s lifestyle and design priorities sets her firm apart. Prior to starting Jeannie Balsam LLC in 2000, Jeannie honed her analytical and project management skills while working for Hyatt Hotels and Accenture. In addition, she earned her MBA from Loyola University Chicago. Her design aesthetic continually evolves as she travels the world in search of great food, design finds, and wonderful experiences with her husband Doug and their three daughters, Mira, Petrea and Alexa.
Karen McIntosh – Associate Designer
After raising two children, Karen found an opportunity to follow her passion for interior design. First as an assistant to a designer who also had a custom drapery workroom, giving her invaluable experience in the nuance’s of drapery design and fabrication. Karen gained design skills and project management experience when she transitioned to a prominent luxury design firm. Since joining the team in 2010, her life experiences and professional expertise have been valued by the team and our clients alike. Karen loves a “project” and has enjoyed using her skills in construction and renovation. Karen jokes that her design aesthetic gets more modern by the day and that she’s never met a “grey” color story she didn’t like! When not in the studio, Karen’s passions are travel (Turkey, Africa, and Italy are some favorites), her grandsons (up to 5 now!), and ministering with her husband, John to sailors at the Naval Station Great Lakes.
Annie Houston Liddle – Associate Designer
Annie has degrees from the University of Michigan and Harrington College of Design. She is an old soul, wise beyond her years with the experience to match. Prior to joining Jeannie Balsam Interiors, she managed numerous showrooms and worked for prominent luxury design firms in the city. She loves fabric and worships at the temple of trim and decoration. Second to design, traveling and learning about other cultures is her passion. Annie traveled, studied, and lived in numerous cities in Europe, Rome being her favorite. She grew up in Winnetka and has come full circle with a design career in her hometown. She bleeds Maize & Blue and keeps the team and our clients “in the know” for all fun trends and happenings. When not in the Studio, and weather permitting, you will find Annie on the golf course with her husband, Ryan.
Natalee Johnson – Design and Social Media Assistant
Our most recent addition, Natalee, graduated with a Marketing degree from Taylor University. We are thrilled to have her youthful perspective as part of our design team! If you've ever wanted to see sunshine personified, just visit Natalee at the studio. Her energy is infectious and PTL (Praise The Lord, as she would say) since she is wearing multiple hats. Her daily tasks jump between design assistant duties and leading our social media outreach. Her design aesthetic leans to the feminine; she loves every shade of blush, and is passionate about beautiful environments at every budget (Target and HomeGoods being her bachelorette favorites). When not in the studio, she cherishes time with her family, friends, and pup Brody... usually baking, boating or just bonding.
Elise Frost – Business Manager
Elise has a B.A. in Interior Design from Syracuse University and an MBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago. She has worked in various roles and has worn many hats for furniture retailers, interior designers and architects. After raising her three children in Highland Park and looking for an outlet outside of her charitable endeavors, Elise found Jeannie Balsam Interiors. She loves numbers and the knowledge that her business management skills free the design team to focus on interior design and the client experience gives her great joy. Family and friendship are paramount to Elise. She and her husband Ira travel extensively with her globe-trotting parents and family, enjoy cooking and hosting for the holidays and are the proud Bubbie and Poppa to Benjamin, Alexander, and Arlo!
Cisco Balsam – Interior Design Studio Cavachon Therapist
Cisco’s earliest memories are jumping in the car with mom for school drop off and then restful days at the studio. His lovable demeanor and calming nature is now intrinsic to the design studio vibe. When he calls in sick, he is truly missed. He has many visitors who bring him treats and take him for walks. He is so beloved that five clients were compelled to adopt his siblings (Max, Jake, Lily, Louie, & Maizey Blue) from the same breeder in Nashville.
Oakley Balsam – Junior Cavachon Therapist in Training
Cisco has proven to be such an asset to the team that we decided he deserved an assistant! We didn’t know when the right candidate would arrive but we were smitten with Oakley’s precious face and knew it was time to take the plunge. Oakley’s disposition lends to the “laid back” nature of the Cavachon breed and being the younger brother, it seems fitting since Cisco is the Classic 1st-born "people pleaser."